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started talking about role of law. i said to him at the time, what strikes me about this topic was that other than the occasion i can think of, other than when paul worked at the state department and bill clinton was president, this topic in my view has never gotten the attention it deserves. it has been treated too much as a technical topic. not as a fundamental topic about the relations of the state's. in my experience, i always say the chinese leadership, the most distinctive characteristic is they are systematically opened. that is to say the modus operandi is on a particular topic, let's look for the best ideas throughout the world, bring them back, study them, and then customize them as appropriate for our own system. and yet in this one respect, they have been a little bit slow. we had this conversation 10 years ago. now, i will stick my neck out and say for a variety of reasons, some of which are circumstantial, some of which have to do with the leadership in the standing committee come i believe that this topic will have to become an a more important topic. and that wi
to commissions, committees, boards, conferences or interparliamentary conferences authorized by law, by concurrent action of the two houses or by order of the senate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that from friday, december 21, through thursday, december 27, the majority leader be authorized to sign duly enrolled bills or joint resolutions. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: first of all, mr. president, i appreciate your filling in kind of on an emergency basis to preside. it's not often we get one of the senior members of the senate to preside and i'm grateful to you. it makes it so much easier on everyone else. i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 12:00 p.m. on monday, december 24, 2012, for a pro forma session only, with no business conducted, and that following the pro forma session, the senate adjourn until 10:00 a.m. on thursday, december 27. following the prayer and the pledge, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the morning hour be deemed expired,
year's to be signed into law. today is the 27. and so you have a few days left for lawmakers to make a deal. the president's should land at some point. there is a 5 hour time difference. they have to figure out something. it seems likely will go over the cliff. it has been looking like that before the holiday, but certainly now, particularly if you remember for congress broke for the christmas break, speaker raynor was not able to get the backup plan through his caucus, so there was no pressure on democrats to try to counter that immediately. senate democrats saying we passed a bill that raises tax rates on incomes over $250,000, we ran on this and this is what we are offering. house republicans were saying, no, we want to negotiate something, figure it out and send it to us. someone is going to have to move. the question is, who? the president met with senate majority leader harry reid before going to hawaii and his offer was to extend the tax cuts for incomes under $250,000, extend unemployment insurance benefits, and the lady across -- and then delay the across the board automati
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